$1.25 Million Recovery for Failure to Timely Diagnose Lung Cancer

The family of a 69-year-old retired attorney agreed to accept a $1.25 million settlement from the man’s cardiologist for failing to follow up on a pre-operative chest x-ray abnormality, which turned out to be an early stage lung malignancy. The client, who had to undergo an angioplasty and stenting procedure, was required to have a chest x-ray as part of his pre-operative clearance. The x-ray was read by a radiologist who noted an abnormality in the left lung, which required follow up by CAT scan. The cardiologist who performed the angioplasty received and reviewed the radiologist’s report, but failed to take any action. As a result, the client was never advised of the abnormality, and, 15 months later – while exercising – noted tremors in the upper extremities. This prompted a visit to his physician, where it was learned that advanced lung cancer was present, which had metastasized to the brain. Unfortunately, despite aggressive treatment, the man passed away ten months later. Blume Donnelly Partner, Michael B. Zerres, argued that the lung cancer could have been diagnosed much sooner had the cardiologist sent the patient for a followup CAT scan. Had the cancer been diagnosed earlier, it would have been at a much lower stage, it likely would not have spread to the brain, increasing the client’s chances for a favorable outcome.